A Planetarium is a Theater for observing the night sky. To address the passivity of architecture in the planetarium, we had to investigate the role of the observer. The experience formally and functionally of a planetarium mimics the night sky, forcing the observer to be disconnected and remain a spectator of the universe. “Skylights” dissolves the barrier between the viewer and the viewed, placing the subject into celestial environments to not only see but feel it. Using architecture as a catalyst to simulate different tangible experiences.
By utilizing a grid system in combination with the formal composition of a wormhole, our nodes were expressed upon the site. The canopy acts as the center of gravity inviting the observers to come experience “Skylights”. Entering the vast field of columns that support the canopy one is struck with a sense of reverence for the monumentality of space.
Progressing through the gentle slope of the site the nodes begin to grow, subtly immersing you in a sea of columns. The descent under the blanket of the universe unveils a contoured star map, revealing secrets of the macro universe and exposing the subtleties of the micro universe.
Moving deeper into “Skylights” one enters into a field of possibilities, bobbing and weaving through spaces created by nodes that pulse with their own energies. These columns create spaces where astrological phenomena may be seen, touched, heard… or maybe not at all. The rooms below have three sizes. The larger facilitates a collective experience while the smaller isolates the individual. Sections of nodes become revolving installations that promote an exploration of space. For example, a room that simulates the vacuum of space through the use of thick sound dampening materials. Or an exploration of the manner in which sound travels through space, through vibrating walls.
“Skylights” works to subvert the current archetype of the planetarium, seeking to return architecture’s prominence in the exploration of space.